For the last six decades, Vikki Carr has been one of the world’s foremost classic entertainers. She has released over 60 best-selling recordings, won three Grammy Awards, and honored with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her remarkable voice and talent have brought audiences to tears and to their feet. Covering a variety of genres, from her first love of jazz, to mainstream pop and country, her pioneering crossover into Latin American music solidified her international stardom. Born in El Paso, Texas, but raised in the San Gabriel Valley of California, Vikki is the eldest of seven children and began performing at the age of four. She was signed to a contract with Liberty Records in 1961 and Grammy nominated for Best New Artist in 1963. She recorded, It Must Be Him, which charged up the charts in England. One year later, the single was released in the United States and earned Carr three Grammy Award nominations. After It Must Be Him came a string of hits including Grammy nominated With Pen in Hand, The Lesson, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You and For Once in My Life. Having worked in radio, television, film and theater, her well renowned technical skill brought accolades from some of the industry’s top artists. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Elvis Presley all praised her skill, talent and stage presence. Before Vikki became a darling of the White House, performing regularly at State Dinners, inaugural celebrations and Summits for various US Presidents, she toured Vietnam with Danny Kaye entertaining American troops and performed for England’s Queen Elizabeth II at a Royal Command Performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall. In a male dominated industry, Vikki’s perseverance to stand up for what she believed in, would pave the way for future artists to crossover into other genres. Her desire and hard-fought stance to record in Spanish was met with resistance but Vikki prevailed and released her first Spanish album, Vikki Carr en Espanol in 1972. Because of the album’s enormous success, Columbia Records in Mexico offered her a contract and beginning with Vikki Carr y El Amor, her triumphs were unbridled, especially in Latin America. Songs like Total, Disculpame, Esos Hombres, Mala Suerte earned her Gold and Platinum albums in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador. Carr followed with Grammy Award nominees Simplemente Mujer in 1986, Cosas del Amor in 1992, Brindo a la Vida, al Bolero y a Ti in 1993, Recuerdo a Javier Solis in 1995, and Emociones in 1997 taking three of the five awards. She received her eleventh Grammy nomination in 2012 for her self-produced album Viva La Vida. A 2018 induction into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame is just one of many honors Vikki has received over the years. Other prestigious awards include, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Medallion of Excellence Award in 2011, the President’s Award from Vietnam Veterans of America in 2010, recognition by the International Rotary Foundation as a Paul Harris Fellow in 2008, a 2005 Texas Medal of Arts Honoree and recipient of the National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Lifetime Achievement Award. Vikki was inducted into the Latino Legends Hall of Fame in 2000, received the 1998 Imagen Foundation Humanitarian Award, 1988 Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, 1986 Hispanic Woman of the Year, 1981 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1974 Doctorate of Laws from San Diego University and Doctorate in Fine Arts from St. Edwards University, 1972 American Guild of Variety Artist’s “Entertainer of the Year”, and the Los Angeles Times’ “Woman of the Year” for 1970. Respected as both an artist and a humanitarian, Vikki has recently been touring the nation as a public speaker advocating on behalf of the millions of caregivers in our country and encouraging seniors to partake in exercise and healthy living. Throughout her 60-year career, Vikki has always been a strong proponent of education and in 1971 established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation, offering college scholarships to Latino students. In December of 2018 Vikki partnered with the San Antonio Area Foundation to continue the legacy and success of the VCSF scholarship program for years to come. Whether speaking from a podium or performing on stage, Vikki Carr’s energy and extraordinary voice are still as radiant and exuberant as ever.
- Alisha Cole
- Adria Michelle